Our 2017 review continues with AI, social media, machine learning, algorithms and robots taking jobs.
The Internet Newsletter for Lawyers is edited by Nick Holmes
Articles filed under Robots in law
Recently I encountered a tweet about a “robot lawyer” called LISA and took the bait: “Can someone please explain to me how this differs from document assembly we’ve had for decades? Intelligent? Robot? Lawyer?”
Robot Lawyer LISA is a document assembly tool with a single form (an NDA). For what it is – consumer-facing document assembly – the concept and content are fine relative to what else is available. The claims to be something more – an AI robot lawyer – are absurd. The hyperbole, however, is effective.
Billy Bot is the world’s first robotic junior clerk for a barristers’ chambers.
The concept of Billy Bot came out of the huge growth in public access work that now comes directly to barristers. Members of the public can now contact chambers directly to discuss their potential cases with the clerks in chambers. This presents a new difficulty for barristers’ clerks as they need to spend much more time dealing with enquiries from the general public than they do with solicitors or other lawyers (who have a professional understanding of the legal process and requirements) when they contact us to obtain advice or book a barrister for a hearing.
In this issue Casey Flaherty forcefully makes the case against the hype surrounding AI and robots in legal, particularly by vendors talking up their own offerings. He is also somewhat sensitive to those who call their offerings “lawyers” when they clearly are not. One such, indeed the one who has claimed “the world’s first robot lawyer” is all-of-20 Joshua Browder, a British student at Stanford University, majoring in Economics and Computer Science. Most of the legal tech press has covered the basics of Joshua’s DoNotPay robot lawyer which started off challenging parking tickets for Joshua and his friends and has now developed into a veritable bot-fest, with over 500 law bots planned in 300 areas of law across US, Canadian and UK jurisdictions.
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